Fish and cannellini bean stew (serves 4-6)

It’s Good Friday. Fish day. So this is what we’re having for supper. I’ve never made a fish stew so it’s a bit of a guess. Kind of made it up as I went along. I didn’t have any white wine so I used Asti. Coz that’s the sort of classy booze we have round my gaff.

Actually I really like Asti. And I’m not even ashamed. On my wedding day, the guests all quaffed champagne at the reception. I’d arranged with the staff in advance for them to provide a secret stash of Asti just for me. So basically, use whatever wine makes you happy.

Fresh fish doesn’t have to be mega expensive either. I bought two packs of skinless boneless pollock fillets. That’s 600g of really good fish for £3.67.

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That’s a lot of fish for under four quid. And the other ingredients are all pretty cheap so it works out not too bad for a fish dish.

If you’re on a really tight budget you could use frozen white fish, which is cheaper but it will need a bit longer to cook. And you can leave out the alcohol if you want to keep the cost down even more.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. Hope it turns out okay or this will never be published…

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
3 carrots, cut into chunks
3 sticks of celery, sliced
1 heaped tsp mixed dried herbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 glass Asti (or wine, if you insist)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Stock cube (I didn’t have fish so used chicken)
1 tin cannellini beans (in unsalted water)
500g chunky white fish, cut into big chunks

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Method:

In a large pan, gently soften the onion, celery and carrots with a little oil. Add the herbs and garlic and stir.

After a minute or so turn the heat up and pour in the wine. Leave to bubble for a few minutes so the alcohol can burn off.

Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and peppers. Tip in the whole can of beans, water and all. Give it all a good stir. Reduce the heat, put the lid on and leave to simmer for 30 minutes until the carrots and celery are really soft. Give it a stir now and then to stop the beans all sticking to the bottom of the pan.

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Finally, add the raw chunks of fish. Stir it very gently, put the lid back on, and leave for a final 10 minutes.

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If you’ve got any veggies or bread to serve on the side, put it on to cook or warm up now. I dished it up with broccoli and warm crusty bread.

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It came out ok! Not too heavy. Really good fish flavour. Yum. So now I am well nourished and fully stocked on vitamins, I am ready for the chocolate onslaught of Easter!

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